LEO Austria has bagged his fourth Coach of the Year award from the PBA Press Corps for his stellar 2019 season with the San Miguel Beermen, eding out Barangay Ginebra's in the balloting.
Austria led San Miguel to the Philippine Cup and Commissioner’s Cup titles. Although he missed out on a grand slam again, Austria’s season was good enough to earn the nod of reporters regularly covering the league games.
He guided San Miguel to its five consecutive Philippine Cup crowns after a thrilling seven-game series against Magnolia. Austria then captured his eighth career PBA title at the expense of TNT in the Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
The 62-year-old Austria was supposed to receive the trophy last March 16 at the Novotel Manila in Araneta Center but the event, to be aired on Cignal TV, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cone ended Austria’s grand slam bid in the quarterfinals of the Governor’s Cup. Ginebra went on to win this same conference for the third time in four years.
Austria now moved second all-time in the Coach of the Year list after being tied with Cone and Gregorio prior to 2019. Former Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes has the most number of Coach of the Year awards with five.